Copy theory in wh-in-situ languages: Sluicing in Hindi-Urdu

Emily Manetta


Hindi-Urdu is known to be one of the wh-in-situ languages exhibiting a sluicing-like construction. Although many have proposed alternative accounts of such strings in wh-in-situ languages (e.g. Kizu 1997, Toosarvandani 2009, Gribanova 2011, Hankamer 2010), I argue that apparent sluicing in Hindi-Urdu can be analyzed in a manner consistent with the notion that the syntax of a sluice is the syntax of a regular wh-question (Ross 1969, Merchant 2001). Assuming the copy theory of movement (Chomsky & Lasnik 1993, Chomsky 1993, i.a.), we can understand sluicing in Hindi-Urdu as an exceptional instance of the pronunciation of the top copy in a wh-chain, correctly predicting that Hindi-Urdusluiced structures have properties similar to genuine sluices in languages like English. This article pursues a continued refinement in the implementation of copy theory in wh-in-situ languages and importantly, contributes to the current line of work investigating intra-linguistic variation among wh-in-situ languages and the ways in which constellations of properties of wh-dependencies and ellipsis processes in these languages are best understood.

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